Every March, in the midst of winter's (theoretical) last stand, a much-longed-for event occurs: the annual release of
Founders Brewing Co.'s Kentucky Breakfast Stout. Or, Founders KBS for short.
What started as an experiment in Kentucky Bourbon barrels has evolved into one of the most anticipated releases on
the beery calendar. With a perfect 100 on RateBeer and being considered one of the highest-rated beers in existence
it's no surprise that it's highly coveted. It's truly worthy of its celebration even if camping outside in the
Michigan cold just to be one of the first to get it may be a bit much.
A beer as fine as this is not achieved without special care. The makers add two kinds of Belgian chocolate and two
locally-roasted coffees to even further enhance the chocolate and coffee notes. Oats are added to the malt-bill for
a creamy, viscous mouthfeel. But it's the pièce de résistance, the final step, the grand finale that gives this
beer--this brewery--its reputation as being one of the stalwarts of the industry: the Kentucky Bourbon barrel.
Tucked away deep inside gypsum caves only miles from the brewery in Grand Rapids, the barrels from the likes of Jim
Beam or Maker's Mark hold the beer for a year. This year-long aging process allows the beer to take on the oak
tannins from the barrels. The Bourbon also imparts a bit of its flavour into the beer which is why the brewers will
only select barrels from Bourbons they actually like. No moonshine here!
Of course, barrel-aging is not unique to Founders. Barrel-aging adds a certain depth to a beer, a certain complexity
that just can't be matched in regular tanks. It didn't take long for others to catch on and these days it's easy to
find beers aged in everything short of an old boot. But Founders was doing it before it was cool; before people
thought they liked it.
Founders aims for consistency in each year's production; the stable temperatures and a climate controlled unit within
the caves ensure it. Blending is necessary because the longer a barrel held the Bourbon the more its flavours will
influence the beer. Therefore, after the brewers taste-test (what a job!) each barrel, the contents are blended for
This year's version has finally reached our shores after being
released Stateside on April 1st. Whilst the beer is suitable for aging (and at 12.4% will likely outlast a meteor
strike) it's more than lovely to drink now. Either way, it's a beauty that should be celebrated now and in the years
We have some important and exciting news from our Managing Director, Matt Lane:
Over the last few months, we’ve spent a lot of time speaking to members of our PerfectDraft community about loyalty & rewards.
Something we’re really passionate about is rewarding our most loyal customers and you’ve given us some great feedback and ideas on how we can do this.
We’re now excited to announce the launch of our ‘Spring Rewards’ program.
During pregnancy, it is recommended to a pregnant woman not to eat any raw or semi-cooked food such as meat, fish, cold meats and certain types of cheese. And above all, smoking and drinking alcohol should be stopped.
In recent years, alcohol-free beer has become a real trend in the beer market here in the UK. More and more big beer brands and small craft breweries are starting to brew it to the delight of non-alcoholic drinkers. However, there are many questions about this kind of beer.
We’re back for the second edition of ‘Must Try Kegs’. Last week we spotlighted three fantastic kegs from our MultiTRY range and this week is no different. From a personal favourite lager of mine, to a couple of flavour sensations, take a read through why we think you have to try these three.
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